Woodhead leads AP Little All-America team

12/13/2007 - College Football

NEW YORK -- Danny Woodhead ran for more yards than any player in the history of college football and was selected to The Associated Press Little All-America teams each season he played at Chadron State.

The 5-foot-9 running back was a first-team Little All-American for the second consecutive season, joining Northwest Missouri State running back Xavier Omon and Harding quarterback David Knighton on the team released Thursday.

The AP Little All-America team honors players from Division II, III and the NAIA.

Woodhead ran for 7,962 yards for Division II Chadron State in Nebraska, topping the all-division record of 7,353 set by R.J. Bowers from 1997-2000 at Division III Grove City (Pa.) College.

Woodhead also ranks second in career all-purpose yardage with 9,479. His 109 career touchdowns ties the NCAA record and his 654 career points ranks second.

This season Woodhead rushed for 1,876 yards and scored 27 touchdowns. He is a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, given to the best player in Division II.

Omon outplayed Woodhead when their teams met in the Division II playoffs three weeks ago. Northwest Missouri State beat Chadron State 26-13 behind 309 yards rushing by Omon. Woodhead was held to 91 yards without a touchdown.

Omon followed that up with 292 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-16 victory over Grand Valley State, ending the Lakers 40-game winning streak last week.

Thanks to his outstanding postseason, Omon leads Division II in rushing with 2,274 yards.

Northwest Missouri State (12-1) plays Valdosta State (12-1) on Saturday in Florence, Ala., for the Division II national title.

Grand Valley State placed two players on the Little All-America team: linebacker Anthony Adams and offensive lineman Brandon Barnes.

Knighton passed for 3,197 yards and 32 touchdowns this season and became the first player in the school history to be a semifinalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy.

"I'm just pleased beyond words for him to get this
recognition," Harding coach Ronnie Huckeba said Thursday. "I
think he's very deserving."

Knighton excelled in Harding's spread offense, which allows him
to change plays at the line of scrimmage. "We felt very comfortable with him doing that," Huckeba said. "He's a playmaker, he's extremely tough. He's real hard to tackle.
He's got a very, very strong arm."

North Dakota wide receiver Weston Dressler was a Little All-American for the second consecutive season. West Liberty State's Almonzo Banks, with 88 catches for 1,331 yards and 18 touchdowns, was the other receiver and Kolo Kapanui from West Texas A&M was the tight end.

Joining Dressler and Woodhead as two-time Little All-Americans were offensive linemen Ben Hochstein of Nebraska-Omaha and Heath Benedict of Newberry.

Mackenzy Bernadeau of Bentley and Tim McCutcheon of California, Pa., were the other first-team offensive linemen.

Ashton Gronewold of Missouri-Rolla made it as the all-purpose player, Jared Guberman of West Georgia was the kicker and Arkansas Tech's Michael Podobnik was the punter after leading the nation with a 45-yard average.

Joining Adams on the defense was linebacker Jerrell Freeman of Division III Mary Hardin-Baylor and Delta State linebacker Michael Eubanks, who is the second defensive player to be a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy. The other was linebacker Ronald McKinnon of North Alabama in 1995.

Abilene Christian running back Bernard Scott is the third Harlon Hill finalist and was a second-team Little All-America selection.

The trophy will be awarded Friday night.

The defensive backs were Randy Kush of Nebraska-Omaha, Cary Williams of Washburn, Kendall Ricketts of Central Missouri and Matt Kostelnik of Mount Union.

The Purple Raiders, who will play for their third straight Division III championship Saturday against Wisconsin-Whitewater, also placed offensive lineman Derek Blanchard on the second team and quarterback Greg Micheli, running back Nate Kmic and defensive lineman Pat McCullough on the third team.